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Historians, Places and the Past

14 May at 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM


This seminar explores the role of historians in place-making and heritage projects. Such projects can result in fresh interpretations of historic sites. Historians help preserve and reveal evidence of the past alongside new modes of access, adaptive re-use, and (re)development.

Historians contribute research, analysis and insights to the development of heritage sites and places of historic significance. Their knowledge can help to maintain heritage values that are already recognised. Historians are also experts in discovering new information that contributes to our understanding of a place.

While place-making can enable new forms of community engagement, it can also be controversial. There may be losses alongside the gains. The historian’s advice is not always heeded. Heritage projects usually require compromises. Many perspectives and demands may influence the final outcome.

A panel of speakers shares some of the highs and lows of their experiences in this field. Panellists will then respond to questions from each other and the audience.

This seminar is presented for the Australian Heritage Festival and for Law Week as part of the 2019 ‘Making Public Histories’ series, offered by Monash University, History Council of Victoria and Old Treasury Building.

The seminar will be chaired by Emeritus Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor Graeme Davison AO FAHA FASSA FFAHS, of Monash University and the History Council of Victoria. The panellists are:

Kate Gray, Principal, Lovell Chen Architects and Heritage Consultants

Chris Johnston, founder of Context heritage consultancy and currently Research Associate at La Trobe University

Dr James Lesh, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney (commencing in May 2019)


14 May
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Event Categories:


History Council Victoria
0418 814 957


Old Treasury Building
20 Spring Street
East Melbourne, VIC 3002 Australia
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(03) 9651 2233